Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,524 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,524
Hads: 5,860
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 853
Gots: 1,781 | FT: 157
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,524 | Hads: 5,860
Photo of deford
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle dated 07/30/13 into an Alesmith Snifter...Proper glassware!

L- Oh so deep and dark! Fudge colored with a small 1/2 in orange/brown head that stays for a bit leaving a nice ring. The head is really beautiful...leaves a bit of lacing as it fades.

S- Chocolate, fudge, slight coffee, vanilla...maybe some darks fruits.

T- Surprisingly the coffee is still here! Cocoa, vanilla, raisins...kind of a roasty/malty thing if that makes sense.

F- Very rich and creamy...coats your mouth...almost chewy.

O- Well balanced though a bit hot. Very chocolaty like Grandma's homemade fudge. Surprised I don't do this more often. Highly recommended!

 658 characters

Photo of oregonduck
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid coffee imperial stout. Not as thick or creamy as other imperial stouts. Bouquet is a bit underwhelming. Taste starts with some sweetness and quickly moves into the coffee flavors. Coffee is at a good level, very present but not too much. Has a long, bitter finish. I liked this better than Yeti Espresso Stout which I thought was just overly bitter from the coffee. Overall Speedway is very good, but for me doesn't enter into the "great" category that I expected from the extremely high scores. Don't think it's worth $13 for a bomber, as top notch barrel aged stouts are right in that same price range.

 620 characters

Photo of wedge
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black under a dense, creamy tan head that fills the glass to the rim and leaves some messy lacing in its wake. Smells of syrupy chocolate, coffee and cream, vinous fruit, oats, berries, caramel, and nuts. Not as coffee-forward as I remember, but this probably isn't the freshest bottle. Lots of chocolate in the flavor too, with fruity coffee bean, leather, molasses, and a touch of smoke, drying out with a little black malt lingering into the finish. Thick, creamy, and velvety smooth in the mouth. I'm going to have to get a fresh bottle to get the full coffee experience. Good with a little age on it too, though.

 622 characters

Photo of tastybeer
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Super dark brown opaque liquid with a large light brown, bubbly topping. It fades in reasonable time leaving fine stringy webbing all over the glass. Sticky sticky... Aroma is about a pound of chocolate and roast coffee beans, caramel glazed, with soft vanilla, berries and nuts, musky wood, and a little bit of something wine-like. Very fun dark sniffings with a bright fruity edge... And time for a sip. Thick dark chocolate, roasty malt, blackstrap molasses, tobacco, meat seasonings, leather, smoke, all smooth and heavy with a sharp and elongated bitterness that works its way in at the end of each sip, then holds on until the next. Pretty big guns here... This is not meant to be consumed quickly. A lot of flavor to behold and very aromatic. Slight alcohol warming, otherwise its strength is not conveyed by the taste or sense of alcohol. This however does feel like an extra strong beer due to the intensity of all its flavors. Definitely worth having, perhaps not regularly or in large amounts. Nicely done.

 1,017 characters

Photo of SierraFlight
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at rock n brews el segundo served in a tulip. Coffee, bourbon, vanilla aroma. Smooth malty carmel flavors accompany what was on the nose. Sneaky booze heat.

 163 characters

Photo of bman13
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If I could give this better than a 5, I would. This is a PERFECT DOUBLE STOUT. I mean PERFECT on every level. There's nothing off or wrong with it at all. I'm a Ten Fidy fan as well, and this even beats that. Everything in this beer is tremendously perfectly balanced, the coffee, chocolate, malts, and hops all work in perfect harmony of one another. So happy that I was able to find this.

 390 characters

Photo of Kappakoosh
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I was really happy to get to try this beer. I have not had access to it, so when I found it at Top Hops in NYC, I jumped at the opportunity. Bottom line is this is a fantastic tasting beer and extraordinarily smooth. I would recommend jumping all over the opportunity to try it. A little pricey...but worth every penny.

 323 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

February 1, 2015

750 ml bottle, snifter

A – Midnight black, opaque, some viscosity in the pour. An inch-plus of deep tan/khaki bubbly foam with moderate-long retention. Thick lacing where the foam receded.

S – Dark and sweet molasses, strong vanilla, sweet chocolate malts. Very mild roastiness, the coffee is fairly reserved, just one component among many. Some earthy hop notes in the background, and a touch of alcohol.

T – Milk chocolate with a touch of dark and bittersweet, vanilla, and moderate toffee. Coffee is much stronger in the flavor, earthy and raisiny with some roasted bitterness. Hops are low, maybe earthy or herbal, providing additional light bitterness.

M – Carbonation is moderate, body is full, thick, but not oily or viscous. There’s a touch of residual sweetness, but roasty malt and hops and coffee provide high bitterness on the finish. Mildly dry in the finish, bitterness lingers.

O – An excellent imperial stout complemented by the addition of coffee. A bit more bitterness than I would prefer, but a really great brew nonetheless.

 1,091 characters

Photo of MadCat
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours black with a nice tan head that leaves good lacing

Smell: Espresso, roasted malts, dark fruit, and chocolate

Taste: Espresso, roasted malts, dark fruit, chocolate, caramel malts, bitterness is there but not overpowering

Feel: Full body, low carbonation, chewy and delicious

Overall: A stand out stout from a fantastic brewery. Get it when you can.

 364 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance:pours a solid black. a two plus finger of a foamy tannish head forms and has great retention. large frothy lacings are left behind on the sides of the glass. completely opaque and dark.

Smell: strong coffee to espresso but lots of additional notes including black malt, chocolate and slight dark fruits.

Taste: opens up with a strong and assertive coffee flavor. not super burnt or acrid but strong and bitter roast. lots of chocolate and slight dark fruit balance it out. alcohol is present but not quite overpowering.

Mouthfeel: heavy and bitter but not too lingering. alcohol warmth.

Overall: lots of coffee flavor but also lots of balance. certainly one of the better coffee beers out there but not quite the top tier of stouts in my opinion

 760 characters

Photo of Jack_Malts
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I don't know how much I can say about this beer. Big, bold, full of coffee and boozy dark chocolate goodness. Perfect huge coffee stout. If alesmith made it to virginia this would always be in my fridge. Considering the high availability of this beer, there's no excuse for not having tried this. Highly recommended.

 316 characters

Photo of mr-jj
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a bomber.

Color is nearly black, with just a tinge of dark brown around the edges. Completely opaque with a one finger tan head that lingers for a while. Sticky viscous lacing. Aroma is dark cherries, dark chocolate, some anise and just a hint of coffee. Much less than I expected given that it is brewed with coffee. Still a very good nose. Flavor is dark fruit, dark chocolate, some coffee and anise - similar to the nose. I don't know where the coffee went to hide. Body is full with good carbonation leading to very creamy, drinkable texture.

Overall, it's an awesome beer, but not the coffee blast I expected.

 651 characters

Photo of silverblaze540
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Pitch black color with tan head

S - Strong coffee notes

T - Coffee and chocolate. Very sweet. Malty on the finish.

M - Very thick and smooth.

O - A high quality brew, with a taste that can be enjoyed both by hardcore beer snobs and causal beer drinkers. Definitely one of the best I have tried.

 305 characters

Photo of ZebraCakez
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep black color with a tan one finger head that lingers for a long time. It is very aromatic with a strong coffee and deep boozy scent. Taste is bold chocolate and high quality coffee beans. There is a slight spiciness on the finish. I keep waiting for the same blast of alcohol I got on the nose, but it never comes. It just finishes smooth as can be with no burn (surprising given the ABV). Feel is that also, smooth and velvety/creamy with an adequate level of carbonation. Overall, a super impressive brew. Wasn't sure I'd want the whole bottle to myself, but halfway through my first glass I'm already looking forward to the second. It's a bit pricey, but not out-of-this-world expensive, and certainly worth picking up now and then.

 750 characters

Photo of doremite
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Only critique here is the alcohol could be better hidden. Hits the back of the throat a tad hot but otherwise a fantastic coffee imp stout. Definitely worth trying but not something I would drink regularly.

 206 characters

Photo of Young_John
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite RIS. Very thick and strong. Pours and drinks like it was BBA. Reminded me a bit of Hoppin' Frog's BA BORIS and a bit more of Evil Twin's I Love You With My Stout. Wish it came in smaller bottles so I could enjoy it more often.

 245 characters

Photo of Jmitchell3
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into Speigelau Stemmed Pilsner glass.

A: black as night with fantastic dark brown head that recedes quickly to light cover.
S: Roast, chocolate, slight coffee, some alcohol.
T: Solid roast, nice coffee undertones. Chocolate, some very slight dark fruit.
M: Smooth on the front, full bodied. Even at 8 months, still a good amount of alcohol astringency in the finish.
O: I can see where this is gonna age well, but a bit more rough than I was expecting. Overall, good stout. 4.2 on the face of it.

 518 characters

Photo of bfisher91
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best beer I've ever had, period. At 12% I thought it'd be an overbearing Imperial that'd be delicious but hard to drink. This was not the case. Dark chocolate with strong coffee overtones, sticky and sweet but also deep and complex. The balance is perfect and I could drink this all day. Very enjoyable at a moderately chilled temperature, becomes more sticky and heavy as it warms up. Very hefty price tag but certainly worth trying at least once.

 460 characters

Photo of scotorum
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 7/22/13 and aged since purchase on 10/13/13 in my own personal cellar.

a: Opaque black with a huge two inch plus tan head which receded slowly to heavy thick surface foam and dense lacing. 4.75

s: Cold black coffee. Later mellows out to more of a dark chocolate. 4.25

t: More complex than the aroma, some black coffee, dark fruit and smoky malt. Good hop bite. Finish is slightly sweetish to dry. High ABV (12%!) is amazingly well hidden. 4.25

m: Medium to full, quite smooth, considerable carbonation tingle. 4.5

o: Haven't had this fresh to compare, but at a year and a half old it is a little fruitier than most stouts. Rich, flavorful and incredibly easy drinking for a 12% ABV. 4.25

 708 characters

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber, poured into a snifter at room temperature.

A: Pours a viscous black, forming a thick ecru head that leaves lacing even as it dies to a cap and thick ring. The iPhone flashlight test reveal no light at all getting through, save at the very top edge of the beer, where the color turns a murky dark brown at the very edge of the liquid. No complaints about lacing during consumption - there's plenty, and it's sticky.

S: Medium roast coffee strikes out of the glass straightaway, as fragrant as if it were freshly brewed. Beneath it, notes of a deep, dark roasted malt swirl about, alongside some hints of bitter dark chocolate and a vague nuttiness.

T: Coffee stout indeed, as those notes are again at the forefront, a medium roasted blend. The black-burned malts are there as well, a charred bitterness to them, with notes of scorched toffee and seared caramel alongside. Vague, ephemeral suggestions of dark cocoa and figgy fruit waft through the flavor profile here and there, and it finishes with a dark, deeply bitter, tongue-biting earth and ash bitterness that lingers long after the swallow.

M: As if drinking heavy whipping cream straight from the carton, this is a full, silky stout.

O: Not a bad coffee imperial stout at all. Definitely one of the better balanced versions I've had, if still a bit heavy-handed on the hop side for my personal taste. In a style-neutral comparison, I'd take the AleSmith Wee Heavy over this any day of the week and twice on any day ending with a Y, but this is far from a bad beer.

 1,535 characters

Photo of breadwinner
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Maybe I just keep getting old bottles, but I've never been as enamored with this brew as most folks, and I say that as someone who otherwise really enjoys and highly respects AleSmith brews. The coffee isn't direct enough for me, instead excessively intermingling with weird dark fruit flavors and other notes that detract from what, IMHO, should be a treatise on roasted barley and coffee. I'll have to give it another whirl @ the tasting room soon to confirm.

 461 characters

Photo of EveningCordial
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%

Bomber poured into snifter glass.

A- dark, black, and rich looking. Small brown head, little lacing. Not much noticeable carbonation present.

S- coffee bomb. Lots of roasted coffe, expresso and cappuccino notes up front. Some chocolate and mocha in there as well. Deep and dark roasted malts and grain. A little burnt bread and toffee.

T- again, this is a great specimen of a coffee forward stout. Tons of coffee and cappuccino flavor gives way to a chocolate and roasted backbone with a nice dry finish. Got hints of vanilla and a little smokiness as well.

M- full bodied. Thick and creamy with a very nice dry finish. Went down like velvet with very little carbonation. Definitely better served a little less than room temp to get all the flavors through.

O- such a prime example if a great coffee stout. Highly recommended and I wouldn't sit on it too long if you want the coffee to really come through. With that said, the coffee is so strong, this might be a good one to age a little while if you enjoy a little less coffee flavor, although I don't know what you're doing drinking coffee stouts then. Would love to try the coffee variants if this.

 1,178 characters

Photo of blankenhoney
3.87/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fresh bottle from 11.19.14, enjoyed from a snifter

A: Deep, dark brown with an eggshell/khaki head. Looks pretty inviting.

S: Smells like raspberries covered with dark chocolate. Intense aromas of rich chocolate and dark berries, and only mild notes of sweet, creamy coffee.

T: More rich, rich chocolate, dark berries, chocolate fudge, and a bit of roasted coffee beans. Kind of a chocolate bomb, with some very faint espresso roastiness and bitterness on the finish.

M: Thicker than medium-bodied, nice and creamy

O: I don't know. I see a label saying imperial stout with coffee, and I'm hoping for a lot more coffee flavor and aroma than I found here. Speedway is a chocolate bomb, but a very well done chocolate bomb at that. Rich and luscious, but too sweet and chocolatey for me.

 789 characters

Photo of Ducksnbucks
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Started sober, choked down my first 12oz, sipped the next 5... Then finally enjoyed the last 5 with a decent buzz. Lots of roasted malt, alcohol, and coffee after taste. From here on out i'll spend a couple more bucks and get a BA narwhal, or few less and get a drakonic.

 271 characters

Photo of SteveB24
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Look- color is a black that is almost brown, pours a half finger of brown head.
Aroma- you can smell the beer as soon as you open it. TONS of rich, freshly brewed coffee, molasses in there too.
Taste- Coffee upfront, Followed by molasses and then a wallop of alcohol, quite bitter in the finish.
Feel- Medium body, mild carbonation, isn't creamy but not crisp either, very slightly oily on the tongue.
overall- a nice coffee stout, in my opinion it lacks sweetness and balance, but well worth trying.

 500 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,524 ratings.